"Social capital" can be considered to be the product of co-operationbetween various institutions, networks and business partners. It haspotential as a useful tool for business ethics. In this article weidentify categories pertinent to the measurement of social capital insmall and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). By drawing on three differentsectors, one business-to-business service, one business-to-customerservice, and one manufacturing, we have enabled the consideration ofsectoral differences. We find sector to play an important part inrelation to business practices and social capital. Our inclusion (...) of SMEsfrom Germany and the United Kingdom has called attention to cultural,institutional and economic aspects of two regions of Europe and how theycan influence SME social capital. Social capital is found to beinfluenced by context and, in particular, institutional arrangements. Inanalysing the data we note particular areas of interest from the pointof view of SMEs and social capital as being: formal engagement,networking within sectors, networking across sectors, volunteerism andgiving to charity, and finally a focus on why people engage. We concludethat there is a considerable amount of further research needed on socialcapital, SME''s and business ethics. (shrink)
In this paper we report on empirical research which investigates social capital of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Bringing an international perspective to the work, we make a comparison between 30 firms located in West London and Munich in the sectors of food manufacturing/production, marketing services and garages. Here we present 6 case studies, which we use to illustrate the early findings from this pilot project. We identify differences in approach to associational membership in Germany and the U.K., with (...) a greater propensity to "belong" to an official group in Germany. We distinguish clear sectoral similarities across the countries, and indications that certain personality types will seek out engagement and find time beyond busy work life schedules, often merging work/home/leisure life and friends. Some of our cases illustrate that formal institutions, networks and mutual relationships can develop social capital for the SME, although we should take care not to assume a universal win-win situation for those who are engaged and contribute to the common good. Some of the obstacles to cooperation and civic engagement are outlined. (shrink)
What was René Girard’s attitude towards philosophy? What philosophers influenced him? What stance did he take in the philosophical debates of his time? What are the philosophical questions raised by René Girard’s anthropology? In this interview, Paul Dumouchel sheds light on these issues.
This paper will analyze the evolution and the key aspects of René Girard’s critique of the Hegelian “struggle for recognition” and the master-slave dialectic. Through a discussion of Girard’s views on Identity, Difference, Violence, Desire and Negativity, the study will aim to highlight the philosophical uniqueness of the mimetic theory in respect to French Hegelianism and postHegelianism.
This paper aims to offer a comprehensive overview of René Girard’s reflections on the issue of modern jihadism. It addresses three key aspects of his reasoning: (I) the rise of Islamic terrorism in the context of a globalization of resentment; (II) modern jihadism understood as an “event internal to the development of technology;” (III) the hypothesis that modern jihadism “is both linked to Islam and different from it.”.
This anthology brings together many of the more significant contributions to Cartesian scholarship, some of which reach far back as the 1930s. Altogether, there are well over 100 detailed analyses and discussions of salient aspects of Descartes' Promethean legacy. Because Descartes intended his system to embrace not only philosophy but also a complete scientific corpus, this collection covers both philosophical issues and scientific views: Volume 1 is devoted to questions of Cartesian Method and epistemology; Volumes 2 and 3 concentrate on (...) his metaphysics; and Volume 4 discusses Descartes' scientific views and achievements. The lucidity and originality of the essays, a number of which are already classics of Cartesian scholarship, will ensure that this anthology becomes a standard in Cartesian philosophy. An invaluable resource, Rene;e Descartes provides a large variety of introductions, analyses, criticisms, and appraisals of the problems which preoccupied Descartes and the solutions he propounded. (shrink)
El término “doble vínculo” fue utilizado por primera vez por el antropólogo Gregory Bateson. René Girard asume esta aportación de la Escuela de Palo Alto para formular su teoría del “deseo mimético”. El presente artículo expone la transformación de esta noción en la antropología contemporánea.
La obra de René Girard está salpicada de críticas al humanismo y a los humanistas. En este estudio nos preguntamos en primer lugar qué es el humanismo, haciéndonos cargo de la problemática historiográfica. Presentamos el contraste existente entre los tópicos e ideales humanistas y las ideas que se derivan de la teoría mimética. Estudiamos las críticas explícitas de Girard a los humanistas y, por último, adoptamos una perspectiva que permite calificarlo a él mismo como un humanista.
Wie ist es zu erklären, dass wir uns vermittels geistiger Akte auf Gegenstände beziehen können? Und wodurch sind uns geistige Akte bewusst? René Descartes und Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz geben faszinierende Antworten auf diese beiden zentralen Fragen der Philosophie des Geistes. In dieser Studie werden die Konzeptionen beider Autoren im Detail analysiert, miteinander verglichen und mit heutigen Positionen in Beziehung gesetzt. Die Analysen zeigen, dass Descartes eine deflationäre Konzeption des Bewusstseins (conscientia) vertritt. Bewusstsein ist „nur“ ein Aspekt der Intentionalität, die (...) das wesentliche Merkmal des cartesischen Geists ausmacht. Die Analysen zu Leibniz weisen nach, dass er im Vergleich zu Descartes eine weitaus komplexere und anspruchsvollere Konzeption des Geistes vertritt, die aus heutiger Sicht anschlussfähiger erscheint. Die herausragenden Merkmale seiner Position sind die strukturelle Auffassung der Intentionalität und die Unterscheidung zwischen zwei Formen von Bewusstsein (apperception und conscientia), die dem phänomenalen Bewusstsein und dem reflexiven Selbstbewusstsein entsprechen. Im Unterschied zu Descartes weist Leibniz auch nicht-rationalen Tieren Bewusstsein in Form der Apperzeption zu. Conscientia bleibt dagegen den rationalen Substanzen vorbehalten. (shrink)
Contributors are Susan Bordo, Stanley Clarke, Erica Harth, Leslie Heywood, Luce Irigaray, Genevieve Lloyd, Mario Moussa, Eileen O'Neill, Adrianna Paliyenko, Ruth Perry, Mario Sáenz, Karl Stern, Thomas Wartenberg, and James Winders.
An introduction to Descartes as a philosopher. Situates his philosophy within the context of Descartes' efforts to forge a new natural philosophy, including original work on the theory of the senses and the passions and emotions.
A major contribution to Descartes studies, this book provides a panorama of cutting-edge scholarship ranging widely over Descartes's own primary concerns: metaphysics, physics, and its applications. It is at once a tool for scholars and--steering clear of technical Cartesian science--an accessible resource that will delight nonspecialists. The contributors include Edwin Curley, Willis Doney, Alan Gabbey, Daniel Garber, Marjorie Grene, Gary Hatfield, Marleen Rozemond, John Schuster, Dennis Sepper, Stephen Voss, Stephen Wagner, Margaret Welson, Jean Marie Beyssade, Michelle Beyssade, Michel Henry, Evert (...) van Leeuwen, Jean-Luc Marion, Genevieve Rodis-Lewis, and Jean-Pierre Seris. Combining new textual sensitivity with attentiveness to history, they represent the best established scholars and most exciting new voices, including both English speaking and newly-translated writers. Part I examines the foundations of Descartes's philosophy: Cartesian certainty; the phenomenology of the cogito and its modulations in the passions; and the defensibility and comprehensibility of the Cartesian God. The second part examines Descartes's groundbreaking metaphysics: mind's distinctness from and interaction with body; imagination; perception; and language. Part III examines Cartesian science: the revolutionary rhetoric of the Rules and the Discourse; the metaphysical foundations of physics; the interplay of rationalism and empiricism; the mechanics and human biology that flow from Descartes's physics. (shrink)
When originally published in 1952, this book filled a gap in the history of philosophy and science and remains an important work today, because it puts the main mathematical and physical discoveries of Descartes in an accessible form, for the benefit of English readers. Descartes is acknowledged to be the founder of modern mathematics, through his invention of analytical geometry and this volume charts Descartes’ role in bringing a unity into algebra and geometry and the development of mathematics into a (...) discipline which could be properly analysed. Carefully paraphrasing the Géométrie, this volume retains much of Descartes’ original notation as well as the original diagrams. The volume also discusses the considerable contribution that Descartes made to the physical sciences which involved accurate work in optics, light, sight and colour. (shrink)
La obra girardiana no es sistemática. El análisis y la síntesis de contenido de sus textos es el objeto de esta investigación. Pretendemos aquí exponer y clarificar su filosofía mimética, tanto su teoría sobre la formación de los individuos, como su filosofía interdividual del sujeto, además de contextualizarla dentro del giro intersubjetivo de la filosofía contemporánea.
Why is it so important to study Nietzsche? Many works about Nietzsche’s thought have been published over the years, from every conceivable position, including analytical philosophy.1 One more essay on Nietzsche may seem a bit repetitive. Yet, as Giuseppe Fornari wrote in the preface of Il Caso Nietzsche (The Nietzsche Case), it is fundamental to analyze Nietzsche deeply, because the most important themes of his works are still hidden among the pages of his books.2 René Girard has made an (...) original contribution to understanding Nietzsche by underlining the close connections between Nietzsche’s philosophy and the personal relationships he established during his life. In particular, Girard’s .. (shrink)
Reflecting on his scientific career toward the end of his life, the French-educated medical researcher René Dubos presented his flowering as an ecological thinker as a story of linear progression—the inevitable product of the intellectual seeds planted in his youth. But how much store should we set by Dubos’s account of his ecological journey? Resisting retrospective biographical readings, this paper seeks to relate the development of Dubos’s ecological ideas to his experimental practices and his career as a laboratory researcher. (...) In particular, I focus on Dubos’s studies of tuberculosis at the Rockefeller Institute in the period 1944–1956—studies which began with an inquiry into the tubercle bacillus and the physiochemical determinants of virulence, but which soon encompassed a wider investigation of the influence of environmental forces and host–parasite interactions on susceptibility and resistance to infection in animal models. At the same time, through a close reading of Dubos’s scientific papers and correspondence, I show how he both drew on and distinguished his ecological ideas from those of other medical researchers such as Theobald Smith, Frank Macfarlane Burnet, and Frank Fenner. However, whereas Burnet and Fenner tended to view ecological interactions at the level of populations, Dubos focused on the interface of hosts and parasites in the physiological environments of individuals. The result was that although Dubos never fully engaged with the science of ecology, he was able to incorporate ecological ideas into his thought and practices, and relate them to his holistic views on health and the natural harmony of man and his environment. (shrink)
A systematic introduction into the mimetic theory of the French-American literary theorist and philosophical anthropologist René Girard, this essential text explains its three main pillars with the help of examples from literature and philosophy. This book also offers an overview of René Girard’s life and work, showing how much mimetic theory results from existential and spiritual insights into one’s own mimetic entanglements. Furthermore it examines the broader implications of Girard’s theories, from the mimetic aspect of sovereignty and wars (...) to the relationship between the scapegoat mechanism and the question of capital punishment. Mimetic theory is placed within the context of current cultural and political debates like the relationship between religion and modernity, terrorism, the death penalty, and gender issues. Drawing textual examples from European literature and philosophy, Palaver uses mimetic theory to explore the themes they present. A highly accessible book, this text is complemented by bibliographical references to Girard’s widespread work and secondary literature on mimetic theory and its applications, comprising a valuable bibliographical archive that provides the reader with an overview of the development and discussion of mimetic theory until the present day. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: René Descartes' Cogito is an example of a paradigmatic thought experiment, herald of both subjectivism and new science in Europe's Modern Age, that seems to have escaped the attention of thought experiment philosophers. On deep analysis, the Cogito appears as universal instantiation. The Cogito has strong rhetorical effects for it narratively generalizes from I to all human kind, and its historical and philosophical success can be explained from its concise enthymematic structure that rings true in many possible senses. (...) We consider it a preeminent example of a thought experiment as it states the power of thinking as its very contents. From Descartes' methodology of doubt we can conclude that, e.g., on a Wittgensteinian interpretation, the Cogito is a logical thought experiment rather than a psychological one. RESUMO: O Cogito de René Descartes é um exemplo de experimento mental paradigmático, precursor tanto do subjetivismo quanto da nova ciência, na Idade Moderna europeia, o qual parece ter escapado à atenção dos filósofos que estudaram o experimento mental. Na análise profunda, o Cogito aparece como uma instanciação universal. O Cogito tem fortes efeitos retóricos por si mesmo, generalizando narrativamente desde o eu para toda a espécie humana, e seu sucesso histórico e filosófico pode ser explicado por sua estrutura entimemática concisa, que soa através de muitos sentidos possíveis. Consideramos que é um exemplo proeminente de um experimento mental, na medida em que afirma o poder de pensar como seus próprios conteúdos. A partir da metodologia da dúvida de Descartes, podemos concluir que, em uma interpretação wittgensteiniana, o Cogito é um experimento mental mais lógico que psicológico. (shrink)
The major goal of René Descartes’s rich and penetrating recent book, Meditations on First Philosophy, is to develop a methodology for the discovery of the truth, more specifically, a methodology that accommodates the dictates of a mathematical physics for our view of physical reality. Such a methodology must accordingly deal with and seek to defuse the apparent conflict between a mathematical physics and our commonsense picture of things, a conflict that continues to pose difficult challenges. Though much in the (...) book is devoted to an account of the mind, that focus results from the broader goal of finding a methodology for discovery that will deliver an overall picture of reality consonant with a mathematical physics. Much that Descartes says in this book may strike many readers as extravagant and implausible, and perhaps hardly worth serious consideration. But there is a line of argument one can extract that is challenging and often compelling, even if not in the end wholly convincin .. (shrink)
Religion has become a vital resource for attempts to rethink the meaning of the political. This article rehearses the efforts of two recent figures, René Girard and Giorgio Agamben, to transform the political by renewing its connection to religion. Both thinkers struggle to escape politics as defined by Carl Schmitt's friend/enemy distinction. Girard and Agamben do clash ideologically, but their inquiries into sacrifice and messianism take similar courses. Regarding origins, Girard argues for the sacrificial crisis as the common parent (...) to religion and politics. Conversely, for Agamben, the Roman figure of homo sacer distinguishes politics from religion. With respect to the future, Girard's messianism installs Christian belief as the only way to move beyond violence. By contrast, Agamben steers Pauline messianism toward the efforts to displace sovereignty and reopen the political. I conclude that Agamben breaks with Schmitt while Girard reinscribes his politics at a higher level. Key Words: Giorgio Agamben Rey Chow Christianity René Girard homo sacer messianism politics sacred sacrifice Carl Schmitt. (shrink)
Review of Desmond M. Clarke. Descartes: A Biography. xi + 507 pp., apps., figs., bibl., index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. $40 (cloth).; Richard Watson, Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes. viii + 375 pp., figs., bibl., index. Boston: David R. Godine, 2002. $35 (cloth).
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–80) and Rene; Descartes (1596–1650) exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, as (...) well as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind and body, as well (...) as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
Even though the seventeenth-century French philosopher René Descartes has been remembered primarily for his contributions to Western philosophy, he also showed a curiosity about many aspects of the natural world. His mechanistic and rationalistic methods have been criticized as often as they have been praised, but they provided a framework for subsequent scientific inquiry.
This essay contends that René Girard is not a philosopher or a scientist whose ideas are open to theological appropriation. Instead, contrary to his assertions otherwise, the Girard corpus ought to be read as if it were articulating a form of theology whose primary intellectual home can ultimately be found on a theological map. As the field of Girardian theology grows, it becomes more evident that we need some theological lenses for examining the theology already lying waiting—sometimes inchoately, sometimes (...) not—in Girard's texts, and also for examining how theologians use and misuse his texts. If we can see that he is already doing theology then a theological critique becomes plausible and valid in principle, and indeed becomes an internal critique. Applying good interpretive lenses will provide some rigorous criteria for analyzing the degree to which Girardian theologians are following the internal logic of Girard's thought in their appropriations of it. The interpretive lenses I propose using on Girard are first the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar and then the theology of John Cassian . These two theologians provide us with lenses that help us see that Girard is fundamentally a Catholic theologian involved in resisting the speculative re‐writing of Christianity by proponents of “false gnosis” and that he belongs within the category of theologians who advocate spiritual transformation and “true gnosis.”. (shrink)
To some, Rene Girard is best known for his views on sacred myth and ritual. To others, he is the eminent structuralist critic who offers challenging readings of major literary works. Still others know him for his analyses of the Bible. Central to all aspects of Girard's work is his theory of mimesis, a basic hypothesis about the structures of human motivation, Yet nowhere in his writings does Girard offer a systematic presentation of the mimetic theory. In fact, key terminology (...) shifts from work to work, resulting in considerable ambiguity in both basic concepts and explanatory claims,In Models of Desire Paisley Livingston provides the first rigorous critical reconstruction of Girard's theory of mimesis. Drawing a careful distinction between the theory itself and Girard's often ambitious claims about it, Livingston provides a systematic presentation of Girard's ideas about the role of imitation in human motivation. He surveys responses to Girard's work and compares his theory of mimetic desire with recent work in cognitive psychology and philosophy. The result is a salient theoretical alternative to the false choice--between psychoanalysis and anti-psychological doctrines--that currently dominates literary theory. (shrink)
In political and moral philosophy we are used to an uninterrupted succession of texts, heirs of the liberal traditions, communitarians, analytical Marxists. Besides the names mentioned above, there is a succession of texts that tend to give rise to a sense of routine and, as a result, of lethargy. It is the feeling that political and moral philosophy has reached a plateau within a set of accepted doctrines. Doctrines which, to paraphrase Thomas Kuhn, make up a kind of “normal science” (...) of philosophical theory. But from time to time, the routine drowsiness is sharply interrupted. This happens when works of philosophy show up to question prevailing theories in political philosophy. Such is the case of the work I propose to review herein. It is the work of Mexican philosopher René González de la Vega, whose text on political philosophy features philosophical rigour, originality and depth... (shrink)
Back in 2008, when I was still in the process of writing my PhD thesis on René Girard's mimetic theory and its applications to the narrative poetics of certain post-1960 Anglophone novels, I was struck by an interesting and perhaps inevitable geographical phenomenon. I had just been admitted to a European doctoral program that was centered in a German university but that included also other institutions, both north and south of our Central European headquarters. The "Northern" dimension was represented (...) by Sweden and my native Finland, whereas our "Southern" counterpart sent emissaries from Italy and Portugal. It did not take many sessions in our Pan-European research seminars for me to realize how valuable a... (shrink)
Acquaintance with the name of argument against the vacuum, the present syllogism in René Descartes’ The Principles of Philosophy of 1644 must be extended to any form of continuum space. This article studies it from the point of view of Logic, with the purpose of revealing its petitio principii in relation with the analytical judgments. Hereby, as a result of review the foremost historic sources from where Kant obtains his famous division of the judgments in analytical and synthetic, we (...) will be able to understand the best method to discern about them and to demonstrate the subdivision that we need to establish inside the analytical judgments. (shrink)